What are 6 tips that can help the Christian writer do a better job of reaching believers and non-believers?
A Gift From God
Writers write for various reasons, and so do Christians; chief among them is having a calling for writing. The Word tells us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5). God knew us before we were born, and He gave us gifts, and among these gifts He included the gift of writing. We are further told that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29). God created writers to write, giving them the gift of creating wonderful stories, poetry, and literary pieces. As Christian writers, we should allow the Holy Spirit to help us craft our words wisely and for the glory of God. We must seek His help in our writing endeavors, and to provide writers with some assistance, here are some tips that we can utilize that would benefit us as Christian writers.
Topics such as religion and politics tend to create debates because people have their own opinions and their opinions matter a lot to them, so when people’s beliefs and opinions are challenged, there is an opportunity for learning. When people’s viewpoints on emotive issues are challenged, they are forced to think, rethink and maybe even question what they believe and whether it’s reasonable to continue believing in what they do. When it comes to Christians, the biggest topic of debate is Jesus Christ. He was always controversial in His dealings, like choosing the company of sinners and calling out they hypocrisy in the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus was not shy when it came to controversial issues in society, and He never held back, and He usually answered a question with a question. This shows that He welcomed discussion.
A Consistent Schedule
Every writer, Christian or not, needs to develop a consistent writing schedule. This can be a hard thing to do, but creating a schedule can help you make significant progress in your writing endeavors, but there is a danger. One can consciously form a habit when they engage in a continuous repetition until writing stops being “writing” but a task. It no longer becomes enjoyable, so it’s prudent to find an appropriate time, as well as the right place, and then pray for God’s inspiration….and start writing.
A Thicker Skin
As a writer, more so for a Christian writer, you had better prepare yourself for sticks and stones. When you commit your literary work to print, you essentially open yourself up for criticism and sometimes vitriol. This criticism may be warranted, sometimes not, but as a writer, you must develop a thick skin. By being a Christian writer, you are an open target for such criticism, especially from non-believers who are going to challenge your beliefs. Some people are deemed professional critics whose work is to engage in unnecessary and meaningless dialogue on emotive and controversial topics. Such criticism can become personal, even against you as a person, as opposed to constructive criticism, so this requires the writer to understand to see if there is any value in the critic or if there is no value in them at all and they should simply be ignored.
Controlling the Emotions
Controlling the emotions is vital for the Christian writer and they must remember that there’s a time and place for everything, including being bold and responding with courage, however there is no point in engaging in a dispassionate intellectual discourse over teachings in the Bible. The Word does not require us to insult those who do not agree with us. Being too volatile alienates people and invites volatile responses to our work, so relying on extreme words in your writing will not serve the purpose of blessing others. The Word tells us that “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov 15:1). Spewing venom on every paragraph is out of place and out of character for a believer, and it may reveal more about the author than it does for those who comment.
As we have seen from the Word, Jesus was not shy about engaging in intellectual discourse with his listeners. He asked questions and probed them for responses and never avoided controversial issues (i.e. divorce and remarriage). As a Christian writer, you can emulate this and invite your readers to answer a question at the end of your article or your blog. A question essentially allows a conversation to be created around the content of the literature piece and spark a meaningful conversation about the main ideas that you about, and as a writer, seek to make known. Asking a question allows the readers to go beyond your article or blog piece and seek additional information on their own, hopefully from the Bible and from other Christian writings. In this way, they keep expanding their biblical knowledge and understanding of the topic.
A List of Ideas
Consistent writing can be hampered by the lack of something to write about. Sometimes you have a great idea for a blog, a book or an article, but the next moment you can’t even remember what it was. Having a running list of writing ideas allows you to keep track of the ideas that you want to write about, allowing these ideas to simmer in your mind for a few days as you collect the necessary materials and sources that will help support your sentiments.
With the desire and the gift for writing being planted in our hearts by God, we owe it to ourselves and our faith to pursue it as an act of service. Our writing can be used to bless others and to bless ourselves, and as the Lord’s ambassadors on earth, He expects us to use the gifts He grants us for His glory. As Christians, it is our duty to do everything for the glory of God, which includes our writing. If our writing helps to point others to the knowledge and understanding of God, then we’ve been successful. Through our writing, we become the Lord’s mouthpiece for this generation, essentially being the salt of the earth (Matt 5:13-16).
About the Author
Paul Bates is a writer, tutor and academic consultant living and working in Fresno, California. He’s an avid reader and has come up with his own list of books that every college student should read, which can be found at SolidEssay.com .
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Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.